Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Lies A River Deep by Vera Jane Cook (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Lies A River Deep by Author Vera Jane Cook!

Book Review

Lies A River Deep by Vera Jane Cook
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2012
Format: eBook - 277 pages
             Kindle - 1375 KB
             Nook - 837 KB
ISBN: 978-1619371262
BNID: 2940149245758
Genre: Women's Fiction 

BUY THE BOOK: Lies A River Deep

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

In the summer of 1962, at a high school graduation party, Bessie Day Hardy is brutally raped. Fifty years later, the consequences of that horrific night will transition into unforeseen events that will shatter her serene and uncomplicated life.

Book Excerpt:

It was a day like any other. Days have a sameness, even new, they offer little beyond weather changes and sudden deaths.

“And how are you today?” Bessie asked, showing a smile that age had not yet dulled. She’d always been cute because of it. Sixty years ago, or more, she was the little girl whose cheeks you pinched, and though she was old now, she still wore her hair in curls; silver grey undulations that framed her face and brought out a blithe desire in others to pinch where her dimples dipped, even to kiss her there unabashedly.

Grey looked up and nodded. “Same,” he said.

The air was damp with April moisture as Bessie Day Hardy wrapped her scarf closer to her neck and shivered. Air that hung heavy like wet clothes caught flapping in the rain made it hard to breathe. The scarf had been a gift in a white torn box, under red Santa Claus wrapping, from the Episcopal Church of Saint John the Apostle Christmas party, just last year. The lime green and caramel colored wool that she loved to feel against her lips, an anonymous kindness from someone who had written: Bless you and have a very Merry Christmas. Someone, she imagined with fresh white skin, pearl teeth and eyes that sparkled blue in daylight, light as the sea, but darkened with the night, turning cenereal behind the shadows of dusk.

“We ever going to see the sun again?” She sighed. A wind kicked around the corner and her body felt the chill, enemy winds that carried the threat of sodden attacks to bones too brittle to fight. Later, she would feel the ache and she would rub her muscles more for the distraction than the release of pain.

“If we live long enough,” Grey said.

Bessie chuckled. Living long wasn’t the blessing it used to be. Aging was in the way. Couldn’t leave a person alone, had to show up and make her breath short, expose every damn vein in her body and give her the unsightly imprint of impending death. Nobody wants to look at mortality too closely and aging people carry its threat, vulnerably apparent; the weight of its nearness is a monster in the wings where heaven is a nebulous and cracked mirror; don’t look into it, the young whisper: don’t look yet.

But the old were once young. Bessie Day Hardy still carried the traces of adolescent giddiness in the creases of her lips and her middle-aged ardor for Chauncey Hardy still glinted in her eyes at the memory of his smooth hands in hers, and his fine soft hair against her breast. His step was lively. She could hear it, sometimes, when the house was quiet. Chauncey’s step on the stairs, in the kitchen, on the bedroom floor.

Damn house was quiet now, even her cat walked too softly to hear.

My Book Review:

Lies A River Deep is an intriguing story about how an older woman deals with the lasting effects from an emotional trauma in her past that has suddenly resurfaced fifty years later.

In the summer of 1962, at a high school graduation party, Bessie Day Hardy is brutally raped. Fifty years later, Bessie is a widow in her late sixties living peacefully in Chanakya, New York, a picturesque small town in central New York along the Seneca river. Bessie's world is turned upside down when the emotional trauma from her past resurfaces and comes back to haunt her ... and like the flow of the river, it runs deep with many secrets, lies, betrayals, and consequences.

Author Vera Jane Cooks weaves a riveting and slow building emotional tale mixed with mystery and suspense that alternates between the past (1960s) and the present. The complexity of this multi-layered story of deep family secrets, lies, and betrayals, easily draws the reader into Bessie's story as her tragic past resurfaces and unravels the inevitable emotional and traumatic revelation of the truth and its consequences. The mystery and suspense of Bessie's tragic past keeps the reader engaged and guessing about what really happened on that horrible night, while taking them along Bessie's fifty year journey as she learns to come to terms with the past.

With a strong realistic cast of characters; powerful dialogue and dramatic interactions; and a rich description of the setting, alternating time periods, and suspenseful storyline; Lies A River Deep is a compelling and emotional women's fiction story with a satisfying touch of drama and suspense.


About The Author

Pharaoh's Star is Vera Jane Cook's most recent release. The Story of Sassy Sweetwater was Vera Jane’s second southern fiction novel and was a finalist in the ForeWord book of the Year Awards for 2012 and received a five star ForeWord Clarion review, as well as an Eric Hoffer honorable mention award for ebook fiction in 2013. Dancing Backward in Paradise also received a 5 Star Clarion ForeWord review and an Eric Hoffer notable new fiction award in 2006, as well as the Indie Excellence Award in 2006. Also by Vera Jane Cook: Lies a River Deep, Where the Wildflowers Grow, Marybeth, Hollister & Jane and Annabel Horton, Lost Witch of Salem. Her next novel, Pleasant Day will be published in 2015 by Moonshine Cove Press.

Jane is married and lives on the Upper West side of Manhattan with her spouse, her Basenji/Chihuahua mix, Roxie, her chihuahua puppy, Peanut, and her two pussy cats, Sassy and Sweetie Pie. Added to the mix is Carly, an adopted five year old chocolate brown Dachshund.


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